Research published this week in PLoS Medicine finds that the global spread of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) coincided with widespread use of transfused blood and with the expansion of intravenous drug use but slowed before wholesale implementation of anti-HCV screening.
Angelos Hatzakis and colleagues used phylodynamic and phylogeographic methods to analyse sequences of HCV subtype 1a and 1b samples (these subtypes cause 60% of global HCV infections) collected over the past 20-30 years in the Los Alamos HCV sequence database. These analyses also suggest that the most plausible route for the spread of hepatitis C virus was from the developed to the developing world.
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More information: Magiorkinis G, Magiorkinis E, Paraskevis D, Ho SYW, Shapiro B, et al. (2009) The Global Spread of Hepatitis C Virus 1a and 1b: A Phylodynamic and Phylogeographic Analysis. PLoS Med 6(12): e1000198. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000198